by Jemma Brewitt on December 13, 2017
3 min read

Although well known for its spectacular safaris, Kenya also has an exquisite coastline with seaside retreats worth visiting. Turquoise water lapping white sand beaches are the main attraction to this tropical paradise. Perfectly paired with a safari, the coastline of Kenya is one full of culture and character and is unlike any other beach holiday. Without further ado, here at the best beaches in Kenya:

A camel on a beach in Kenya
Beach side lunch is served at Diani Beach

AfroChic Diani Beach
Image credit: Elewana Collection

1. Malindi & Watamu

North of Mombasa, a city on the south coast of Kenya, lies the tropical waters of Malindi and Watamu. Where soft sand hides turtle eggs, this coastline has some of Kenya’s finest tropical beaches and beach resorts.  Not only boasting pristine and long beaches, this area is also known for deep-sea fishing, diving and snorkeling above its underwater sanctuaries of sea life. Turtle Bay is a 7km stretch of beach close to Malindi. This beach is known for its clear water, great swimming, surfing and local reefs. The Watamu Marine National Park is home to over 110 species of coral, leatherback turtles, whale sharks, and manta rays. The coastlines of Malindi and Watamu are scattered with resorts welcoming guests to this tropical treasure box.

The beach in Malindi, Kenya

Malindi Beach

Resorts on the Watuma Beach in Kenya

Watamu Beach
Image credit: L.M Spencer

2. Mombasa

On the outskirts of the hustle and bustle of Mombasa lies a coastline boasting pristine beaches with inviting, turquoise waters. Previously a trading port, this coastline holds historical significance and Arab, Asian, Portuguese, British and Swahili influences can be seen. The Mombasa Marine National Park, known for its spectacular snorkeling and diving, is not to be missed. A number of exquisite beaches are scattered along this coastline:

Mombasa Beach in Kenya during sunset
Palm trees on Nyali Beach in Kenya

Nyali Beach

  • Nyali Beach is 7km from the centre of Mombasa and offers a quiet and relaxing ambiance a short drive out of the city. This is a good location for surfing, boasts colourful coral reefs and is normally not overcrowded.
  • Bamburi Beach is 9km north of Mombasa. Palm fringed and soft, white sand beaches are welcomed by sun lovers and swimmers.
  • Kikambala Beach is located 30km north of Mombasa. Coconut palm groves, stretches of white beach, coral reefs and an array of resorts make this beach one of the best.
  • Shanzu Beach is only 16km from Mombasa. The beach has several bars and restaurants scattered along its shores boasting panoramic vistas of the ocean.
  • 30km south of Mombasa is the picturesque Diani Beach. This beach is renowned for coral reefs, underwater sandbars, water sports and palm vegatation.
  • Tiwi, neighbouring Diani Beach, is a genuine tropical paradise that is affordable. Under developed with great snorkeling opportunities, Tiwi is isolated and a spot for utter relaxation.

Take a look at some Mombasa accommodation here.

The beach with palm trees in Kenya

3. Lamu Island

Situated in the north of Kenya is Lamu Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This spot makes for an exotic beach holiday with centuries-old Swahili settlements, no vehicles or roads, and a few exclusive villas on its pristine beaches. Shela Beach is a 12km long beach on the island with beach-front guesthouses popular among travellers. Visitors can reach the island by boat from the mainland or fly into neighbouring Manda Island’s airport before crossing via ferry.

Lamu town on Lmau Island in Kenya Donkeys walking on the Lamu Island, a beach in Kenya

Our consultants at Rhino Africa have been to Kenya many times and are happy to answer questions or help tailor your trip.